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Temporary Bed Bug Relief

Updated on October 23, 2017
Bedbugabscond profile image

Melody enjoys sharing her personal experiences with others. This is a product review by a customer for a product and was not endorsed.


Temporarily Deterring Bed Bugs

Rubbing alcohol and vinegar mixed with water in a spray bottle keep bed bugs away temporarily. There are also many brands on the market that sell bed bug repellent sprays, especially useful when visiting hotels, cabins and summer camps.

Many people choose to use Off! Deep Woods Repellent Spray as their go-to spray for the outdoors and traveling. Unfortunately, it doesn't repel bed bugs very well. It is more effective to spray surfaces where bed bugs may hide than to use a bug spray for the skin.

However, when vendors sell bed bug spray they do not always clear if the product is for surfaces, such as beds, or for people. In other cases, the products are multi-purpose and can be used on both. Always read labels slowly.

Bed Bug Repellent For People Cost and Use Comparison Table

Cost Estimate
For People
For Pets
For Objects
For Plants
Origional Bed Bug Patch
$20 For Four Patches
Bug Band Kosher Bed Bug No More
$50 For 12 3 OZ. Bottles
Greenburg All Natural Pest Control For People
$8 for 2 OZ.
Bug off! Essential Oil
$13.50 for .5 OZ
OFF! Deep Woods
$6 for 6 OZ

Safety Concerns

There are many chemical bed bug travel sprays that look very much like repellents. Using these on the skin could cause serious health concerns.

Knowing Which Spray is Safe To Use On People

Buying bed bug travel spray and repellents online can be tricky. The last time I ran an internet search, for bed bug travel spray and bed bug travel repellent, it came back with mixed results.

To no fault of Google, searching for a travel spray will give you mostly sprays, which are to be used on beds, luggage and other objects, except for products such as scram, which are all natural and can be used for both.

When running searches for a repellent, a mix of both travel sprays and repellents. Since both travel spray bottles and repellents look the same, people sometimes buy the wrong product.

Since spraying a travel spray on you body could be unsafe, unless it is labeled to be used for both, you must be vigilant when purchasing travel repellent.

Shopping Decisions


The Origional Bed Bug Patch - Brief review

One product that is unique and reputable is the Original Bed Bug Patch.

When working with the Bed Bug Community Action Partnership Program I worse The Bed Bug Patch to protect myself from carrying any bugs home. Working to help people get rid of bed bugs meant exposing myself to them.

I liked the fact that this product had a 100% money back guarantee. The phone number on the back of the packages is answered by live people who are ready to answer questions.

The premise behind this patch is using the bioavailability of the bodies vitamin B1 supply to mask CO2, which attracts bed bugs. Like the name suggests, you would just slap this on, and head to bed.

Taking a B1 supplement is not as effective. B1 taken by the mouth goes through first pass metabolization. This means most of it is destroyed by stomach acids.

The rest goes to the organs that need it most. The patch works because the B1 in the patch is absorbed directly into the skin and skips the first-pass metabolic system.

Basically, more of it hits the bloodstream. This reduces the amount of CO2 released by the skin itself, making you less appitizing to bed bugs.

Each patch breaks down to about $5, but each one lasts 36 hours. I really liked the patch, it did seem to work. However, be careful where you apply this.

The adhesive will rip your hair right out when you pull it off. This patch is not like nicotine patches (which I used to quit smoking). It did not cause any burning, itching or irritation. The patch stuck fairly well, but I would make sure to apply it after a shower, when the area is completely dry and relatively hairless.

Alcohol and Vinegar Repellent Mixtures

Some household products can be used to temporarily keep from being bitten. It may not prevent every bite but could stop a majority of bugs from getting too close.

Alcohol and vinegar can both be used in a pinch. Choose one or the other and mix a few capfuls with water in a spray bottle. You can spray the solution on hotel beds, camp cots, chairs. couches and any other surface you intend to use.

Some bed bug repellents keep bed bugs away temporarily.
Some bed bug repellents keep bed bugs away temporarily. | Source

Bed Bug Repellent Guidelines

Bed bug repellents might be on a label, but you need to check if the vendor means it for people or surfaces. These repellent sprays are bed bug deterrents. Personally, I prefer all natural repellents for preventing bed bugs. They can usually be used on both and are much safer.

Wearing a bed bug repellent is like wearing a bug spray, such as OFF, to deter mosquitoes. Repellents do not kill bed bugs and are not a cure for bed bugs. However, they might cause temporary relief.

Sometimes I see people complaining that a repellent did not work. This can be rather confusing. By "did not work" some people meant, that they still got bit. I have seen people who claimed it did not work assume that a bed bug repellent alone would solve a bed bug problem.

Bed bug repellents are not a cure for bed bugs! Getting rid of bed bugs takes a multi-modal plan, as epidemiologists call it, or the use of integrated pest management, as bed bug experts call it. However, temporary relief products do have their place.

Bed bug repellents are temporary tools to help prevent bites while you get rid of bed bugs or while you travel.

The key to safely using bed bug repellents is to read all of the instructions before you spray anything on your skin. This is especially true with children.

Your Thoughts

Do you take percautions against bed bugs when you travel.

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Sprays and Repellents To Deter Insects

When you travel you will likely need both a bed bug repellent and a travel spray. Whenever you stay in a hotel, or someplace foreign look for bugs.

How to check hotels for bed bugs:

  • Know what bed bugs, feces and eggs look like, and search for them in the room.
  • Stains on the seams, especially at the corners and underside of mattress .
  • Look on the bed frame, especially near the head board.
  • Look under and around the bed.
  • Check corners of the room, floor and ceiling
  • Don't forget to look around the toilet, and bathtub for stragalers.
  • Signs of bed bug bites when you awake

You do not want to over use bed bug products. However, if you have a reason to believe you need to deter bed bugs, you need to know how to use bed but travel spray and repellent.

As a result of marketing techniques, it is not always clear if a travel spray is meant to be used on objects or people. For the most part, a spray is used on objects, and a repellent is used on people and objects.

Confusion about which is which occurs when natural bed bug spray manufactures make duel products and label it as a general spray.

It is easy to understand why they do this. It is cheaper and easier to call it a spray, print one label and make it an all-in-one product. This works fine with natural bed bug products, such as the ones which contain cedar oil. They can safely be used on objects and people.

However, there are many chemical bed bug travel sprays that look very much like repellents. Using these on the skin could cause serious health concerns.


Bed Bug Travel Spray Info

The important thing to remember about bed bug travel spray is never to spray it on your skin unless the instructions instruct you to do so.

Just because, it is in a small, travel size bottle, does not mean it goes on to you body. In fact, spraying yourself with some travel sprays may be dangerous.

Travel sprays are meant to be used on your luggage, or in your luggage if it is safe to do so as the label instructs, in the hotel room, cruise cabin or wherever you are staying.

The hope is that the spray will deter the bed bugs, who will go prey on someone else. In theory, it works great.

However, most of the complaints I read about travel sprays and some repellents revolve around the fact that starving bed bugs will risk the deterrent for food. In those complaints, the person making the complaint does not seem to get that nothing is foolproof against bugs.

If you were hungry enough, starving even, you would go to great lengths to survive. Bed bugs are no different from any living creature. If a bed bug has gone a long time to without eating, it will persist through the deterrent.

This happens when a hotel room had remained empty for a long period of time, when a cruise ship cabin was not used and on airplanes that haven't had a passenger for a while.

If you stay in a hotel room that has been rented a lot, you are less likely to be bit by bed bugs when using a deterrent. So bed bug travel sprays and repellents can be useful, but they are not an answer.

I can not stress this enough! You CAN NOT cure a bed bug infestation without a total bed bug management plan. Bed bug repellent and spray is one small piece of a much larger puzzle.

List of Bed Bug Travel Sprays (Not For Use on Skin)

The following sprays are to be used on luggage, beds or other objects. Always read instructions careful before you use these products. Also, if you plan to carry bed bug spray or repellent on a carry on bag, check to make sure the bed bug travel spray meets TSA requirements.

  • JT Eaton 208-W6Z Bedbug Control For Luggage And Mattresses, 6-Ounce Spray BottleBedlam Bed
  • Bug Insecticide Spray Aerosol
  • Catchmaster 512 Bed Bug Travel Spray, 3.4-Ounce Can
  • Rest Easy Bed Bug Sray


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    Post Comment

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      5 years ago from England

      I am sure we all know someone who needs this, or has needed this in the past, so great review!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      Good to know. Guess we had better know which is which and the appropriate name for each. Interesting read.


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